A Homemade Broadfork!

homemade-broadfork

Josh S. shared pictures today of his homemade broadfork.

Meet THE BAHFEEMUS SLAYER 2000!

Josh writes:

“14” tines, 5′ tall, around 30 lbs, 22″ wide. Total build cost $13. I used all scrap metal except for the handles. Frame is thick wall 4″ square tubing. Handles are 1″ pipe. It’s heavy, but it works my sandy soil like butter. You can call it what you want, but I call it The Bahfeemus Slayer 2000. I started to go with five (tines). Scrap metal only allowed for 4.”

homemade broadfork

If you don’t have cash for a Meadow Creature and you know how to weld – weld, weld away!
homemade broadfork
This thing is cool as heck. And I totally love the name.

Brushing your teeth with a twig, Kenyan style

cleaning-teeth-with-a-twig

I was reading an email Marjory Wildcraft sent promoting The Grow Network’s “Alternatives to Dentists” DVD and it got me thinking about traditional teeth cleaning.

I started a few neem trees from seed over a year ago. When I get some property, I’m going to plant them, then I’ll see if I can use the twigs to brush my teeth. Heck, maybe I’ll give up toothbrushes altogether. It seems the Kenyans know what they’re doing:

As commentor Noemi Nagy posts beneath the video, twig toothbrushes have another benefit:

“And let’s not forget that twigs are biodegradable and toothbrushes are not, so introducing modern hygiene tools would mean more pollution. If traditional hygiene works for them just let it be.”

I have strong teeth, though they’re a bit crooked. Still, I never feel like toothbrushes are doing a good enough job cleaning them. I want to chew on a stick!

How to Germinate a Peach Pit (Animated)

Peach-pit-germination

I decided to try something different on YouTube this week. Since my previous video on how to germinate a peach pit has been popular, I thought “hey, wouldn’t it be fun to animate the process with stop-motion?”

And so I did:

It’s really kind of a mess but this video will help me work some kinks out. I need to work on lighting, background and focus. The camera’s autofocus was not reliable and neither was the exposure, as you can see from frame to frame. I adjusted as best as I could in Final Cut after the fact but it’s not as good as getting sharp, well-lit shots at the beginning.

My YouTube viewers liked it, though, with the exception of one guy who wasn’t happy I didn’t animate all the way through to planting orchards and harvesting fruit:

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 7.53.25 AM

It’s always the potheads or the vegans…

If you are interested in seeing the results of growing peaches from seed, I’ve shared my successes both here and on YouTube:

I’d like to create more “Animated Gardener” videos. It’s fun to do and so long as I keep the videos short it doesn’t eat up too much time.

What do you think?

Using Seaweed Fertilizer in the Garden

seaweed

I’m sold on using seaweed fertilizer, whether fresh or purchased – and as people try it for themselves, they’re also learning its benefits.

As commenter Guian Millares writes:

seaweed-comment

“Dude it worked!!! My plants have grown very well with washed seaweeds! I use or twice everyweek and it is working awesome! Ive never had such growth before!! wow! Thanks man! God bless you….never listen to those who say negative things on you…You are doing great! God bless you.”

Thank you! God has blessed me and continues to do so. And I count the abundance of free local seaweed as one of those blessings.

A year ago I posted this video on making and using seaweed fertilizer in the garden:

Which reminds me: I have some new garden beds that could really benefit from some seaweed application. I’ll have to take a couple sacks with me next time I hit the beach with the family.

If you live far from the beach or don’t feel like hauling bags of seaweed, you can get good seaweed fertilizers on Amazon. Neptune’s Harvest is a popular one and is really rich since it’s a mix of both seaweed and fish. Fish emulsion is like magic in the garden – and when you mix it with seaweed, you’re really adding the bounty of the ocean to your plants. They go crazy. In fact, my friend Jo the Master Gardener once told me that fish emulsion is the way to grow truly awesome organic strawberries in Florida. It greens them up and makes them fruit without encouraging leaf growth over fruit.

Another option that I used to use on my beds in North/Central Florida was kelp meal. It’s loaded with minerals and a little goes a long way. I don’t know if kelp is totally safe post-Fukushima, but I haven’t heard anything really scary lately.

I used kelp meal as part of the fertilizer mix I used to grow these amazing cabbages:

seaweed fertilizer helped these plants

CabbageHead2015

I followed the directions for making COF (Complete Organic Fertilizer) which Steve Solomon writes about in Gardening When it Counts. Once I had my mix, I sprinkled it all down the beds, raked it in, put down a weed barrier, punched holes, then planted cabbage seedlings. They did better than any I’ve grown before or since. Absolutely beautiful heads.

Seaweed was part of that. Consider it a multivitamin for your garden, loaded with micronutrients. The big three – NPK – are the main course – and seaweed has those, but not in huge amounts – but seaweed is really rich in the little things which add to the overall health of your plants.

How to Make and Use Seaweed Fertilizer

So, you have some seaweed and want to try it out? Here are three good options.

Option #1: Seaweed as Mulch

Take the seaweed, rinse it out, then use it as mulch. That works nicely and breaks down over time. Maritime Gardening agrees:

Option #2: Compost it!

Put seaweed directly into the compost pile. Consider it a “green” layer. I don’t bother rinsing it when I do this, figuring the salt on it will work its way through.

Option #3: Make Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer

You’ve seen me do this before with weeds, manure, kitchen scraps, etc.:

But you can do it with seaweed as well. It’s a great additive – or it can be used all by itself.

This is a very good video where a man does the same method I do, but with comfrey and other northern leaves, along with seaweed:

Hey, that guy looks way more pro than me. I should send him a T-shirt.

Now go – find yourself some seaweed!

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